Episode 226: Conversations Worth Having – with Jackie Stavros and Jon Berghoff

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Conversations are at the core of how we interact. We all know that conversations influence us, but we rarely stop to think about how much impact they have on our well-being and our ability to thrive.

How effective would you say that you are at having conversations that significantly and positively impact the lives of the people on the other side of those conversations?

Jackie Stavros is the author of Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement, in which she teaches us how we can communicate better and flourish in all areas of our lives.

When Jon Berghoff started the Flourishing Leadership Institute, he asked Dr. David Cooperrider for help. David’s response? “You need to talk to Jackie. She is a pioneer in the methodology of the work that I do.” Jackie has since become a close mentor to Jon, a dear friend, and extraordinary at helping individuals and organizations to upgrade the conversations that they’re having.


  • Why conversations are so important – and an introductory exercise for listeners to explore how conversations make us feel.
  • Jackie shares her journey with Appreciative Inquiry – and how she pioneered approaches to large group planning now used all over the world.
  • Jackie dives into the practices of “Positive Reframing” and “Generative Questions” to show how they empower us to have better conversations, then shares examples of how they helped solve serious problems.
  • How Appreciative Inquiry brings all of the voices into the room, stimulates innovation, and opens people up.
  • Why it can be so hard to tilt conversations to the positive – and whether or not we as humans have a bias toward seeing what’s broken.
  • How we can deal with “Ain’t it awful?” moments using Appreciative Inquiry – and how it helped Jackie get through one of her toughest conversations.
  • Why the greatest returns you’ll see with Appreciative Inquiry are in your children – and one great example from Jackie’s own family.


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